Wednesday, June 27, 2007

And the winner is ...

I won! I could tell you how I have never won anything before but that would be a lie. There was the time I won $5,000 in Vegas and then there was the time I won fake fur handcuffs at that porn Tupperware convention but this my little huckleberries is a much greater win. I'm a "Rockin' Girl Blogger".

I'd like to thank the academy, (please fill in spontaneous applause here) I mean Hearts for awarding me this prestigious tittle. It is my first blogger award and I am so very proud. I am a girl, I do rock and I do blog, so it's a perfect fit. Sort of feels like when you find that perfect pair of Manolo Blahnik or Jimmy Choo's. You slip them on your feet and your heart skips a beat. Blogger award = new shoes, emotionally I feel the same, absolutely elated.

I'm sharing this award with all the little people who helped me along the way. I'd also like to share this with all you Rockin' Girl Bloggers out there. You know who you are, the ones whose blogs I frequent and who make me laugh, cry and think. It's a lovely community, filled with such awesome talent and I am pleased to have found such a unique place to belong. Gracias, muchas gracias.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Who Am I?

I was talking to my cat, when it dawned on me, I'm sitting out on the balcony, in the middle of the night talking to my cat. Which is just a step better than talking to yourself, but then again this is the asylum, and talking to yourself or the cat isn't that weird. When the cat wandered off, obviously bored with the one sided conversation, he glanced back at me, with that look of arrogance, typical to cats, seemly saying "who the hell are you?". I was left to ponder that question, sitting out on the balcony, in the middle of the night, smoking a good cigar, having a glass of wine.

I am a proud Boricua, who is also an American. I was born in Bayamon, Puerto Rico, and grew up in Brooklyn, NY. I have all the craziness of my Puerto Rican upbringing and all the savvy of a street wise New Yorker. I have the work ethic and loyalty of parents who struggled their whole lives in the land of opportunity. I have a heritage mixed with traits of African slaves, Taino Indians and the Spaniards who inhibited my island home.

I am a female, whose hair color can not always be found in nature. I have a body that I would gladly trade in for a newer model, if given the chance. I am a sucker for a lost cause, an advocate for those who suffer injustice, and extremely liberal. I love Fruity Cheerios and penny candy. I enjoy the finer things in life and luckily have been able to experience and enjoy many of them. I never forget being poor, feeling hungry, and the fear that was born from living in bad neighborhoods. I admire and appreciate nature's beauty, and most times find complete solace when surrounded by it.

I don't always understand how I fit in. I am educated, and bi- lingual. I struggle with worries about life and my future. I am a complex mixture of optimism and pessimism. A woman who has truly loved and been loved, unconditionally. I bear the scars of betrayal and heartbreak. I fight for my sanity, sometimes daily. I do not participate in any organized religion but was brought up Catholic. I turned away and closed my book on Catholicism many years ago.

My nurtured side has left me with a strong sense of self, yet nature/society have sometimes squashed me like a bug. I must have piping hot, strong black coffee, no sugar, every morning. Ripe plantains are a comfort food. I am not a fashion guru (nor have I played one on TV) but my style is my own. I don't share possessions or food well, but I donate to my favorite charities generously. I keep watch on a family history of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, mental illness, cancer, alcoholism and drug addiction, I have yet to fall prey to any of them. I love music and my iPod reflects my culture, my ups, my downs, my memories and my diversity.

I tend to mask my emotions until I reach a boiling point. I am compassionate and at times self-less to an almost stomach turning degree. I don't memorize anything I can look up, or program into some device that will memorize information for me. I am sarcastic, have a nasty temper and consider asking for help a sign of weakness. I have a good sense of humor, enjoy silly banter and I hate talking about myself. Funny how the things I hate, sometimes liberate.

Who am I? I am a never ending work in progress.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Monkeys Gone Wild

About 30 years ago the Rhesus monkey, native to India and Nepal and red monkeys from central Africa were brought to Puerto Rico to be part of experiments. They were located on a little island off the coast of Humacao. When the research was done, about 100 monkeys were left behind on the island. Scientist thought that these monkeys would never make it to the mainland because they didn't swim. WRONG. 30 Years later the feral population of these monkeys number over 1,000. And guess what? They learned to swim, and are now all over Puerto Rico.

The farmers on the island are going crazy. The monkeys are eating and destroying crops. They have become a real problem as their numbers are growing and they no longer confine themselves to rural parts of the island. They have been found very close to major cities, including San Juan.

Our government has set aside $450,000 to capture the monkeys and either send them to research centers, sanctuaries or euthanize them. Traps have been set for over a month and so far they have managed to capture zero, nada, not one monkey. The monkeys are winning. They have learned to by pass electrical fences, and traps.

Since the first 8 government traps were set out, the primates have snatched the bait and eluded capture, drawing ridicule from local farmers, who blame the monkeys for devastating their crops for the last decade. Farmers were able to capture 2 monkeys within an hour of the media showing up by setting traps with mangos as bait around a favorite monkey watering hole.

Government $450,000 plan: 0 monkeys
Farmers $0.50/ mango plan: 2 monkeys

Now if you do the math, it would seem one of these plans is not very cost effective. Our government works in strange and mysterious ways.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

American Latina

"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore, send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door.

I went to the mall the other day and as is my habit, I parked in the space reserved for pregnant women and cut through Sears to get where I wanted to go. As I was walking through Sears, I spotted a table with T-shirts celebrating Independence day. July 4Th ... um ... did someone forget this was Puerto Rico? I am pretty sure July 4Th is not Puerto Rico's independence. No, wait, we do celebrate the United States Independence because we are a territory of the U.S. and not yet independent. But this isn't about my political views. ( well, maybe, sort of, a little.)

Seeing the shirts reminded me of seeing the Statue of Liberty for the first time. I skipped school one day just to go and view Lady Liberty, up close and personal. I have all sorts of tidbits still stored in my brain pan from that first visit. Things that would only come in handy should I ever appear on Jeopardy and one of the categories is "Things about the Statue of Liberty". But since that isn't going to happen, I am sharing a few of them here with you: It's actual title is "Liberty Enlightening the world", her tablet has July4 1776 engraved on it, her crown has seven spikes representing the seven seas and seven continents. The broken shackles lying at Lady Liberty's feet signify liberation from oppression and tyranny. The torch (as the title states) represents enlightenment. Since 1903 Emma Lazaru's poem "The New Colossus" (a part of which appears under the photo up top) welcomes immigrants.

We have this beautiful woman, filled with so much symbolism, given as a gesture of friendship between two nations and when I read the news, I do NOT get all warm and fuzzy about freedom and friendship and welcoming people from all over the globe. We all know that France isn't "our" friend now, for a while there, just asking for french fries was cause for concern. There's a war going on, the immigration debate is hot and heavy, a lot of censorship issues making people angry, still plenty of hatred and bigotry. The president is an idiot. And as the saying goes ... the rich get richer and the poor ... well, fuck the poor. Teenage pregnancy is crazy, "no child left behind" is even crazier. The young don't seem to understand the difference between fake violence and the real thing and most of their parent's don't either. Women are raped, brutalized and killed daily. A lot of people (kids included) have no homes and go hungry (often), The environment is not having a good day, suicide is on the increase, as is mental illness and Paris Hilton is still in jail, talk about oppression and tyranny.

I clearly remember the feeling of sheer wonderment and pride that I felt when I first saw Lady Liberty. That very first day I memorized the poem by Emma Lazaru and all sorts of trivial and not so trivial facts about the Statue of Liberty. As a child, I so believed in the symbolism and could point to examples around me that justified all for which she stood. As an adult I still believe in her symbolism, but it has become more difficult to see the examples as clearly as I did that day. I guess my rose colored glasses have many, many smudges.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Someone once said

  • If you must choose between 2 evils, pick the one you have never tried before.
  • There is always one more idiot than you counted on.
  • Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.
  • Never, ever take a laxative and a sleeping pill on the same night.
  • Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in the garage makes you a car.
  • It's easier to tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.
  • If you can't be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.
  • Never kiss a boy or girl with cooties.
  • Love is an irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired.
  • To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else, is a great accomplishment.

Monday, June 04, 2007


I read a lot of blogs. I try and hit all my favorites at least once a day. (I will be adding my favorites links in the near future, so you too can feel the bliss). Reading blogs is addictive. Some blogs are lifelines that keep me from extended stays in a padded cell here at the asylum. The common thread of late is sharing past experiences, confessions, reasons for blogging and the roles we play. Do all these things connect in our everyday lives or just in the blogosphere? Why do I blog? What do I share? After about 50 posts, is this what I expected? How much do I expose myself? Is there a blog me, and a "real world" me? Do the two ever meet up at the Embassy Suites for happy hour?

Blogging started out as a creative outlet to escape from my woes. It has turned into a creative outlet that inspires me, despite my woes. The blogosphere is my personal therapist, advisor and all around friend. The friend who listens and acts interested, even when I have nothing of importance to say. Sometimes it's cathartic to write about the evil ways of the universe, to recall childhood events, and to rant about things that offend me. Sometimes it's just crazy fun.

My topics all bare some aspect of me. Some with embellishment, other's not. I swear a lot, (as I do in the "real world") never worrying about the fact that friends and relatives read this blog and may find "fuck" offensive. I work at not letting "who" might be reading, change what I might be writing. It would defeat the whole "freedom to be me" thing. It's my blog, it's all about me. Read me and love me, I always say. (OK, I never say that but I do hope it's what you do.)

Are we one person at work, another at home, and yet another in the blogoshpere? Is that what we are suppose to do? You can't just show up to work naked or can you? Different roles, same person? We all have many roles to play but the essence of who we truly are permeates all of them. Here on this written page, it's my essence. My ups and downs, my world, my rant about life.

I never worry about what I might expose. (I enjoying being naked). I blog for the freedom to be me. For the freedom to write what I want, how I want, when I want. The roles I may have to play the rest of the time in the "real world" have only been enhanced by the "locura" that gets to completely reveal herself at the asylum ... always on her own terms.

Google Analytics Alternative